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Influence of light and temperature cycles on the expression of circadian clock genes in the mussel Mytilus edulis

Chapman, Emma; Bonsor, Brodie; Parsons, Daniel R.; Rotchell, Jeanette


Emma Chapman

Brodie Bonsor


Clock genes and environmental cues regulate essential biological rhythms. The blue mussel, Mytilus edulis, is an ecologically and economically important intertidal bivalve undergoing seasonal reproductive rhythms. We previously identified seasonal expression differences in M. edulis clock genes. Herein, the effects of light/dark cycles, constant darkness, and daily temperature cycles on the circadian expression patterns of such genes are characterised.
Clock genes Clk, Cry1, ROR/HR3, Per and Rev-erb/NR1D1, and Timeout-like, show significant mRNA expression variation, persisting in darkness indicating endogenous control. Rhythmic expression was apparent under diurnal temperature cycles in darkness for all except Rev-erb. Temperature cycles induced a significant expression difference in the non-circadian clock-associated gene aaNAT. Furthermore, Suppression Subtractive Hybridisation (SSH) was used to identify seasonal genes with potential links to molecular clock function revealed numerous genes meriting further investigation. Understanding the relationship between environmental cues and molecular clocks is crucial in predicting the outcomes of environmental change on fundamental rhythmic processes.


Chapman, E., Bonsor, B., Parsons, D. R., & Rotchell, J. (2020). Influence of light and temperature cycles on the expression of circadian clock genes in the mussel Mytilus edulis. Marine environmental research, 159,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 19, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 23, 2020
Publication Date 2020-07
Deposit Date Mar 20, 2020
Publicly Available Date Mar 24, 2021
Journal Marine Environmental Research
Print ISSN 0141-1136
Electronic ISSN 1879-0291
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 159
Article Number 104960
Keywords Mytilus; Bivalve; Mollusc; Circadian rhythm; Clock; Light; Photoperiod; Diurnal; Temperature; mRNA
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